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The FReeper Foxhole Remembers Lance Wade: Forgotten RAF Ace - Sep. 26th, 2005
Aviation History Magazine
| November 2004
| Michael D. Montgomery
Posted on 09/25/2005 9:55:02 PM PDT by SAMWolf
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Lance Wade: Forgotten RAF Ace
One of Britain's most decorated and highest-scoring fighter pilots was a former mule skinner from east Texas.
British Squadron Leader Lance C. Wade, leading a group of eight Supermarine Spitfire Mark VIIIs, was not expecting to encounter enemy aircraft as his Royal Air Force patrol neared the Italian coast near Termoli on October 3, 1943. Suddenly the RAF fliers sighted Focke Wulf Fw-190As at 12,000 feet. Wade led his fighters from 6,000 feet in a climbing turn in hopes of approaching the enemy planes from their blind spot in the rear and below. After gaining this position and approaching unseen to within 200 yards, Wade destroyed the rearmost Fw-190 with a burst of cannon fire. He then moved behind the next fighter, and with another burst sent the enemy plunging earthward.
The remaining German pilots broke in all directions, trying to escape. Diving after a fleeing Fw-190, Wade heavily damaged it, but he did not see it crash. German records subsequently revealed that III Gruppe of Schlachtgeschwader (battle wing) 4, or III/SG.4, had lost at least one of its Fw-190 fighter-bombers in that fight, and the pilot, Sergeant 1st Class Peter Pellander, had been killed. With the confirmation of those two victories, Wade ended his second combat tour. His score had risen to 25, making him the leading Allied fighter ace of the Mediterranean Theater of Operations at that point.
I first encountered Lance Wade by accident several years ago, when I was searching for World War II history books and visited a used book store owned by Henry Johnson. That day turned out to be lucky for me in more than one way. I found several new books for my library, and I also learned about an American-born ace who had slipped through the cracks in books about World War II. As I was rummaging through works on the European air war, Johnson said to me: "My Uncle Bill Wade's son was a Royal Air Force fighter pilot in World War II. His name was Lance Wade, and he shot down over 40 Axis aircraft." I listened politely but initially attached little credibility to his claim, for I had already been studying the air war for many years and thought I could readily recognize the names of high-scoring Allied fighter aces. Johnson went on to tell me that the 40-plus kills were in Wade's logbook, but not his official record. He also explained that these were not confirmed, as Wade had flown in the desert war of North Africa, and many of his kills had lacked witnesses. But Johnson claimed that the RAF had credited Wade with 25 confirmed victories.
I listened to the bookstore owner's story, still in doubt, then told Johnson I was not familiar with any pilot named Wade and asked if he knew of any books about him. Johnson explained that because Wade remained in the RAF after the United States joined the war, and he died in a flying accident before the conflict ended, the young pilot's achievements had not been widely publicized after his death.
When I returned home, I could not get Johnson's tale off my mind. Going to my bookshelves, I picked up Edward H. Sims' The Greatest Aces, which contains the semiofficial records of air warfare. As expected, I did not find Lance C. Wade listed in the American aces of World War II, nor in the listing of RAF aces. But then I spotted a footnote at the bottom of a page: "This list does not contain one of the Royal Air Force's greatest fighter aces, Lance C. Wade, an American who volunteered in 1940 to fly and fight for England." Sims added that Wade was one of the highest-scoring Americans in the air war, with 25 confirmed kills, also noting that he died in an accident in 1944.
A product of the east Texas hill country who came of age during the Depression, Lance was born in 1915 in Broadus, a small farming community near the TexasLouisiana border. The second son of Bill and Susan Wade, he was actually given the name L.C. at birth. In fact, he became Lance C. Wade only after the RAF demanded that he list a name rather than initials -- he called himself Lance Cleo Wade just to satisfy regulations. In 1922 the family moved to a small farm near Reklaw, Texas, where he went to school and helped with the farm work. Family members recalled that whenever an airplane flew over, Wade would stop whatever he was doing and say, "Someday I will fly." In 1934 at age 19, Wade traveled to Tucson, Ariz., to take advantage of a New Deal program, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which provided jobs for young men. For Wade, however, the CCC work turned out to be much like the farm work he thought he had left behind -- driving a team of mules, building roads and planting trees in a national forest.
With war clouds looming, Wade earned a pilot's license and acquired 80 hours of flying time. License in hand, he tried to join the U.S. Army Air Corps, only to be turned down because of his lack of education. Undeterred, he was soon plotting to join the RAF.
Ground crew of 33 Squadron
Due to heavy losses during the Battle of Britain, the RAF had started recruiting American pilots for its war effort. Fearful that he might be rejected again, Wade submitted a fictitious résumé in which he claimed that he had learned to fly at age 16, when he and three friends had purchased a plane and a World War I flying buddy of his father's had taught them to fly. Wade also said that his father had been an ace in World War I. Years later, on hearing that story, Wade's cousin Henry Johnson laughed and said that the highest Uncle Bill (Wade's father) had ever been was the top rail of his fences, and that the family was unaware of Wade's ever owning an airplane. Whatever the facts, in December 1940 Wade was accepted by the RAF.
Britain's recruitment program resulted in 240 American pilots who flew and fought for England. Most of those men served with Nos. 71, 121 and 133 "Eagle" squadrons, which were made up of American volunteers. In the course of their service, members of the Eagles destroyed 731¼2 Axis aircraft and earned 12 Distinguished Flying Crosses (DFCs) and one Distinguished Service Order (DSO). The battle-tested Eagles also provided the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) with valuable combat experience after the United States joined the war. Wade, however, did not serve with the Eagle squadrons but with the regular RAF squadrons, and as a result his awards and victories are not included in the Eagle tally.
Soon after being accepted in the RAF, Wade was sent to No. 52 Operational Training Unit (OTU). Units such as these provided pilots a few weeks' training in the aircraft that they would fly in combat -- in Wade's case, the Hawker Hurricane. After completing his OTU training, Wade flew a land-based Hurricane Mark I off the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal to the beleaguered island of Malta. His was one of 46 Hurricanes sent as reinforcements to the island. Because of the need for fighters in North Africa, 23 Hurricanes were flown to Egypt, where Wade joined No. 33 Squadron in September 1941 as a pilot officer. After the unit received replacement pilots and aircraft, it was deployed to Giarabub airfield, located in the Libyan desert, a fly-infested wasteland of sand, rocks and brush. The mission of No. 33 Squadron was to provide close air support for the upcoming British offensive, dubbed Operation Crusader, scheduled to be launched on November 18, 1941, against the German Afrika Korps.
KEYWORDS: freeperfoxhole; hurricane; italy; lancewade; northafrica; raf; spitfire; texas; veterans
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Number 33 Squadron was equipped with the Hurricane Mark I and later the Mark II. Hurricanes were the workhorses of the RAF during the Battle of Britain, responsible for attacking German bomber forces while the more advanced Spitfires took on the enemy fighters. The Hurricane was a transitional fighter, with thick wings and a steel-and-wood frame covered with fabric. The lack of streamlining resulted in a design that had little room for improvement; even equipped with more powerful engines the Hurricanes did not show a dramatic improvement in their performance. In fact, the Hurricane of the desert war was nearly 100 mph slower than the Luftwaffe's Messerschmitt Me-109F.
Squadron Leader, Lance C. Wade
The "Hurri" was not without good points, however. Many pilots believed a Hurricane could outturn the Me-109, and it was a stable gun platform -- which made it easier for Hurricane fliers to achieve hits on opposing aircraft. The Hurricane's wide-tracked landing gear also made takeoffs and landings on unimproved desert fields safer.
The key to success in the war in North Africa was controlling the airspace. The RAF faced two experienced and well-equipped foes: Italy's Regia Aeronautica and the German Luftwaffe. Many Italian pilots had been flying combat since the Spanish Civil War, and their equipment was equal to that of the RAF. Luftwaffe aircrews were considered the best in the world; they included many veterans of the Spanish Civil War and earlier campaigns of World War II. One of No. 33 Squadron's principal opponents was the Luftwaffe's Jagdgeschwader 27, a fighter wing commanded by Captain Eduard Neumann, one of Germany's outstanding air combat leaders. Furthermore, the pilot many Luftwaffe leaders considered the best fighter pilot of the war, Hans Joachim Marseille, flew with I/JG.27. Marseille destroyed 158 British and American aircraft.
Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Marseille
Commanded by Squadron Leader J.W. Marsden, No. 33 Squadron had been brought up to strength with replacement planes and pilots to support Operation Crusader. The offensive's purpose was to relieve the British Tobruk garrison and to destroy Axis armored forces commanded by German Maj. Gen. Erwin Rommel, the famed "Desert Fox." Crusader was scheduled to begin early in the morning of November 18, and No. 33 Squadron's assignment was to attack El Erg airfield, located deep in the Libyan desert. As the Hurricanes approached the enemy airfield, three Italian Fiat C.R.42s jumped them. Despite the fact that the C.R.42 was one of the most advanced and maneuverable biplane fighters ever produced, with a top speed of 270 mph, Wade managed to shoot down two of the Italian planes, while the other C.R.42 was downed by his squadron mates.
Hawker Hurricane Mk IId strafing a target in North Africa
Four days later, on November 22, nine Junkers Ju-88A bombers of I Gruppe, Lehrgeschwader (training wing) 1, with supporting Me-109s, attacked Allied airfields in the area. Given warning of that attack, No. 33 Squadron managed to scramble six Hurricanes to intercept the enemy formation. The squadron destroyed two Ju-88s, while Wade heavily damaged another Ju-88 in that same fight. After landing and servicing its fighters, No. 33 was ordered to intercept another enemy formation, this time made up of Italian Savoia-Marchetti S.M.79 trimotor bombers. Displaying the aggressiveness that soon earned him the nickname "Wildcat Wade," He destroyed one S.M.79 and teamed up with another pilot to bring down a second. On November 24, Wade and his wingman intercepted a flight of S.M.79s with C.R.42 escorts and, in a low-level fight over the desert, Wade notched up another S.M.79. That afternoon he shot down another C.R.42, thus achieving ace status in his first week of combat.
Me-109,s on patrol in North Africa
On the morning of December 5, 1941, No. 33 Squadron was ordered to make an early morning attack on the Axis landing field at Agedabia. The squadron mounted its attack from the east so that the glare of the morning sun offered some protection from groundfire. As Wade approached the enemy landing field, he concentrated his fire on an S.M.79 parked near the flight line. When he roared over the damaged enemy bomber, it exploded and heavily damaged his Hurricane. Fighting to keep his plane in the air, Wade struggled on for about 20 miles before setting down in the desert. In an attempt to help, Sergeant H.P. Wooler landed his own aircraft nearby, but Wooler's Hurricane was damaged during the landing, and he was unable to take off afterward.
Now there were two British pilots stuck in the desert without food or water. Fortunately, the Desert Air Force was prepared for such an emergency. If stranded airmen could be located, they were supplied with essential rations by air. The fliers were given directions on where to head, and if the men could find firm sand to facilitate a landing by another aircraft, a plane would be sent in to rescue them. Wade and Wooler were among the lucky ones, as they were quickly spotted and supplies were airdropped to them. After walking back to base, Wade and Wooler officially became members of the "Late Arrivals Club," which meant they could wear a special patch on the left breast of their flying suits.
posted on 09/25/2005 9:55:06 PM PDT
To: snippy_about_it; radu; Victoria Delsoul; w_over_w; LaDivaLoca; TEXOKIE; cherry_bomb88; Bethbg79; ...
During his time at home, Wade spoke to his brother Oran about some of his experiences in the desert war. Oran later recalled hearing how on one mission Lance had become separated from his flight by three Me-109s and in a swirling low-level dogfight had shot one down and damaged another. He reportedly lost the third by flying down a desert gully. There had apparently been no witnesses to confirm what had happened, however. He also told Oran that enemy pilots seemed to have recognized his aircraft during the last half of his tour and started avoiding him. That may have been thanks to the fact that Wade's Hurricane was distinctive -- decorated with his own design, a fighting cock, or rooster, standing in front of an American flag. That same aggressive-looking bird would later be adopted as the emblem of the U.S. Army Air Forces' 4th Fighter Group, which included many former Eagles in its ranks.
Wade was next sent to Wright Field to test new American fighters. He later reported to the RAF delegation in Washington and was introduced to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House.
Wade eventually returned to North Africa to take command of No. 145 Squadron, which was equipped with Spitfire Mark Vbs. By the time he joined the squadron in January 1943, he had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and a bar (representing a second DFC). The squadron's assignment was to keep enemy fighters from attacking the Hurricanes and Curtiss P-40 fighter-bombers. His new unit was made up of pilots of many nationalities: Britons, New Zealanders, Argentines, Trinidadians, Canadians, South Africans and Australians. Also attached to the unit was the Polish Fighting Team, made up of 15 expert pilots who had been fighting the Germans since the beginning of World War II. Led by Stanislaw Skalski, Poland's leading ace of the war, that group had a reputation for being difficult to manage. But under Wade's leadership, the squadron developed into a highly successful combat unit.
Throughout the North African campaign, fighter units were commonly based near the front lines so that they could respond to ground units' requests quickly. Sometimes enemy ground units broke through Allied lines and overran the landing fields where the fighters were assigned. On February 25, 1943, German artillery fire began hitting the airfield where No. 145 Squadron was stationed. In a hasty scramble to save aircraft and personnel, Spitfires, jeeps and trucks raced from the field. The squadron managed to escape with all its aircraft except for one that had been under repair. Even so, Wade's own fighter had its starboard wing damaged by an exploding shell, but he flew the damaged plane to El Assa and somehow came down safely.
As March 1943 ended, No. 145 Squadron had developed into an effective fighter unit, credited with 20 enemy aircraft destroyed for the month. (In comparison, all the RAF units in the Mediterranean theater were credited with 59.) The month also marked a turning point in the air war, with enemy aircraft becoming increasingly difficult to find. Wade had started the month off by downing an Me-109 over Medenine that was confirmed later -- probably killing a Sergeant Ertl of 3/JG.53. He went on to take out another Me-109 north of Mareth on the 22nd and two south of Sfax on the 23rd. During that same period he also received news that he had been awarded a second bar to his DFC.
In September 1943, No. 145 Squadron provided support for the invasion of Italy. It was during the Italian campaign that Wade took part in what may have been his most notable aerial combat. That battle occurred on November 3, 1943, while he and a wingman were patrolling the front lines and encountered a large flight of Fw-190s of II/SG.4 attacking a target. Wade radioed for help but did not receive a response. Nevertheless, he and his wingman decided to attack the enemy formation. In the dogfight that followed, an Fw-190 crossed in Wade's front, offering him a brief opening, and with a burst of cannon fire Wade shredded the German plane.
The Spitfire Mk Vb, one of the most produced variants, with cannon armament and the circular oil filter that identified the type from previous marks
As the engagement continued, Wade damaged two more Fw-190s before making a low-level escape. Both he and his wingman survived the fight. Wade had been too hard pressed to really determine what became of the enemy planes he hit, so they were credited to him as "three damaged," but II/SG.4 subsequently reported that Sergeant Georg Walz had been killed by Spitfires near Termoli.
As Wade's second tour drew to a close, a ceremony was held in his honor. Air Vice Marshal Harry Broadhurst, air commander for the RAF's Mediterranean theater and himself a high-scoring Hurricane ace from the Battle of Britain, reviewed No. 145 Squadron on that occasion. In his remarks, Broadhurst pointed out that Squadron Leader Wade was the most successful commander of No. 145 Squadron from both World War I and World War II. Wade was subsequently promoted to wing commander, with the rank of lieutenant colonel, and posted to Broadhurst's staff.
Wade's future looked bright at that point, given his new rank and assignment. His private life was also prospering, as he had become engaged to marry a young British woman. Sadly, all that bright promise was about to come to a tragic and premature end.
Missing his old squadron mates, Wade decided to pay them a visit. On January 12, 1944, he flew a twin-engine Auster light bomber from the theater headquarters to No. 145's base at Foggia, Italy. At the end of his visit, Wade climbed into the Auster and took off again. But as his plane climbed from the runway, it suddenly went into a spin and crashed. Wade was killed instantly.
After the war, one of Wade's friends visited his family and expressed his belief that Wade's plane had been sabotaged. Whatever caused the crash may never be known, since some RAF crash records of World War II are still classified. Shortly after Wade's death, news was received that he had been awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
In less than three years, Lance Wade, a former mule skinner from Texas, rose like a meteor to become the leading ace of his theater. After his first tour, Wade had been offered higher rank and more pay to transfer to the USAAF. But he had declined at the time, saying, "Thanks, that's mighty fine, but I'd rather keep stringing along with the guys I have been with so long now." As The New York Times wrote, "He strung along with them to the end" -- the end of his life.
Lance Cleo Wade was buried in a quiet country churchyard just down the road from his boyhood farm near Reklaw. Even in his hometown, there are no markers to honor his remarkable accomplishments, and that seems a terrible shame, given his immense contribution to the Allied air war.
During Wade's first tour of duty from September 1941 to September 1942, the Desert Air Force took heavy losses due to the limitations of their outdated Hurricanes. But despite his plane's obvious shortcomings, Wade's victory total continued to rise. He also became the unofficial deputy commander of No. 33 Squadron.
Wade's last week of his tour came during a period of intense air combat. That action started on September 11, 1942, with a large dogfight between Hurricanes of Nos. 33 and 213 squadrons and the Me-109s of I/JG.27 and II/JG.27 that were escorting Junkers Ju-87s on a dive-bombing mission. The Hurricanes were supported by the two new Spitfire squadrons, Nos. 145 and 610. In a swirling fight, Wade destroyed a Ju-87 on the 11th. Five days later, he tangled with a highly skilled Italian pilot flying a Macchi M.C.202, who damaged his Hurricane. This was the first time an enemy pilot had hit Wade's fighter in a year of air combat, and he conceded that the enemy pilot was good. As his tour came to an end, Wade was sent home for a well-deserved rest. His score then stood at 15 confirmed kills.
The Texan RAF pilot's exploits had been widely reported in U.S. newspapers, and now the American press corps clamored to meet the man who had become a high-scoring ace and also been invited to tea with Britain's royal family. Upon his arrival in New York, he held a press conference at Rockefeller Center and was featured in the October 14, 1942, issue of The New York Times. After touring the big city, Wade returned to east Texas to a hero's welcome. An auto dealership offered him the use of a new car during his leave, which he politely refused, and he also received invitations to speak throughout the region.
posted on 09/25/2005 9:56:00 PM PDT
(Puns are bad..but Poetry is......verse)
| The Hawker Hurricane is a fighter design from the 1930s which was used extensively by the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain.
By some measures the design was outdated when introduced. Following traditional Hawker construction techniques closely, it used a large measure of wood and fabric for the wings and fuselage, with the engine and cockpit area being aluminium-covered steel tubing. In contrast, the contemporary Supermarine Spitfire used monocoque construction and was thus both lighter and stronger.
But its simple construction was the main reason why it was ordered into production in 1936. At the time it was unclear if the much more advanced Spitfire would be able to enter production smoothly, whereas the Hurricane was a well understood problem. This was true for service squadrons as well, who were well experienced in working on and fixing wooden/metal planes like the Hurricane.
As expected the first Mk.I production machines were ready fairly quickly, and deliveries started in October 1937. They mounted the 1,030 hp (768 kW) Rolls Royce Merlin Mk.II or III engine and were armed with eight .303-in Browning machine guns. These early planes were rather simple, with fabric-covered wings, a wooden 2 bladed fixed-pitch propeller, and without armour or self-sealing tanks.
Hawker Hurricane Mk I
These issues were addressed in 1939. The new Mk.I included a de Havilland or Rotol constant-speed metal propeller, ejector exhaust stacks for added thrust, metal-covered wings, armour and other changes. At the start of the war the RAF had taken on about 500 of this later design, and it formed the backbone of the fighter squadrons during the Battle of France and into the Battle of Britain.
Although it may have been an older design, the Hurricane was still a worthy fighter on its own and a reasonable match for the Messerschmitt Bf 109 it faced. Much of this was the result of the use of the very impressive Merlin engine, which also powered the Supermarine Spitfire. The Merlin (using 100 octane fuel) gave more power at low altitude than the Daimler-Benz DB 601 used in the Bf 109. Above 15,000 ft, the DB601A-1 had the edge on the Merlin III and XII, though.
During the Battle of Britain the Hurricane accounted for the majority of the planes shot down by the RAF, being directed against the slower bombers whilst the Spitfires kept the defending German fighters occupied, but their day was already over. By the close of the Battle of Britain in late 1940, production of the Spitfire had ramped up to the point where all squadrons could be supplied with new machines. Deliveries of the Spitfire were now outpacing the Hurricane, as it turned out that its all metal construction allowed it to be produced even faster than the mixed-construction Hurricane.
Rolls-Royce was improving the Merlin even before the war started, and in 1940 started production of the Merlin XX (Mk.20). The XX featured a new two-speed supercharger, that could have its impeller-speed changed by the pilot depending on the outside air pressure (altitude). At about 18,000ft (effective) it would be switched to a higher-speed gearing ("FS ratio" Full Supercharge) for added compression, while below that, at its lower-speed gearing, ("MS ratio" - Moderate Supercharge) it "robbed" less power from the engine. The result was more power at both lower and higher altitudes, dramatically increasing overall performance of the engine, peaking at 1,280hp (954 kW).
Although by this time production of the Spitfire had started to ramp up, a Merlin XX powered Hurricane Mk.I was built and first flew on 11 June 1940. The initial Mark II, retroactively to be known as the Mark IIA Series 1, went into squadron service in September 1940 at the peak of the Battle of Britain.
Hawker Hurricane Mk II
Hawker had long experimented with improving the armament of the fighter by fitting cannon. Their first experiments used two Oerlikon 20 mm anti-aircraft cannons in pods, one under each wing, but the wooden wings were deemed too fragile to handle the large and somewhat temperamental fitting. A more reasonable fit was made with four Hispano Mk.II 20mm cannons, two in each wing, but the weight was enough to seriously impact performance. Fitting the cannons also proved to be a problem, as the cannon was designed to be drum fed and fired through the propeller shaft, and a suitable belt-feed mechanism hadn't yet been worked out.
With the new Merlin XX, performance was good enough to keep the aging Hurricane in production. Hawker soon introduced the new Mark IIA Series 2 with either of two wings, one mounting twelve Brownings, the other four Hispano cannon. The first Series 2's arrived in October, also sporting a new and slightly longer propeller spinner.
These were later to become the Mark IIB in April 1941 and Mark IIC in June, respectively, using a slightly modified wing. The Mk.IIC used drums for the cannons to avoid the problems with the earlier attempts and belt feeds, limiting their ammunition. The new wings also included a hardpoint for a 500 lb or 250 lb bomb, and later in 1941, fuel tanks. By this point the design was falling well behind the latest German fighters in terms of performance, and the Hurricane was re-tasked in the fighter-bomber role, sometimes referred to as the Hurribomber.
Mk.IIs were used in the ground support role, where it was quickly learned that destroying German tanks was terribly difficult; the cannons didn't have the performance needed, while bombing them was almost impossible. The solution was to equip the plane with a 40mm cannon in a pod under each wing, reducing the other armament to a single Browning in each wing for spotting.
The layout was originally tested on a converted Mk.IIB, and flew on 18 September 1941. New-build version of what was known as the Mk.IID started in 1942, including additional armor for the pilot, radiator, and engine. The planes were initially supplied with a Rolls-Royce gun with 12 rounds, but soon upgraded to the Vickers S gun with 15 rounds.
Yet another wing modification was introduced in the Mk.IIE, but the changes soon became extensive enough that it was renamed the Mk.IV after the first 250 had been delivered.
posted on 09/25/2005 9:56:41 PM PDT
(Puns are bad..but Poetry is......verse)
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Veterans for Constitution Restoration is a non-profit, non-partisan educational and grassroots activist organization. The primary area of concern to all VetsCoR members is that our national and local educational systems fall short in teaching students and all American citizens the history and underlying principles on which our Constitutional republic-based system of self-government was founded. VetsCoR members are also very concerned that the Federal government long ago over-stepped its limited authority as clearly specified in the United States Constitution, as well as the Founding Fathers' supporting letters, essays, and other public documents.
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I realized that our Veterans have no "official" seal, so we created one as part of that recognition. To see what it looks like and the Star that we have dedicated to you, the Veteran, please check out our site.
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posted on 09/25/2005 9:57:08 PM PDT
(Puns are bad..but Poetry is......verse)
To: Allen H; Colonial Warrior; texianyankee; vox_PL; Bigturbowski; ruoflaw; Bombardier; Steelerfan; ...
To The FReeper Foxhole
Good Monday Morning Everyone.
If you want to be added to our ping list, let us know.
posted on 09/25/2005 10:05:37 PM PDT
(Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
Thank you for posting L.C. Wade's story. Although I'd heard of Americans in the RAF (okay, okay, via 1940s' movies and not books), I hadn't heard of the Eagle squadrons.
posted on 09/25/2005 10:32:05 PM PDT
To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All
Pictures when I get home Bump for the Monday Edition of the Freeper Foxhole.
Shoot I might even have an Auster pic.
posted on 09/25/2005 10:44:29 PM PDT
The story reminds me of George Beurling, a fine young Canadian who flew into Malta with Wade.
We have differences with the Canadian Government and Big Media, which is a shame. Canada has produced some fine fighting men. The present dreams of Socialism would have repelled those lads.
Anyway, Beurling. 32 confirmed. Likely a LOT more; he was vastly un-PC in those days, a man with the true warrior spirit. The Brass were already very PC in those days, and so didn't like anybody who was a better man.
And do not forget the great Frank Luke of Arizona.
Very good, thorough site.
Captain Rickenbacker said Luke was without fear. Shucks, if Rickenbacker thought Luke was braver than he was, which simply seems impossible, Luke must have been truly awe inspiring, a sort of George Ball but hard and fierce.
posted on 09/25/2005 11:07:27 PM PDT
("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting
the Medal of Honor
LUKE, FRANK, JR.
Rank and Organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 27th Aero Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group, Air Service.
Place and Date: Near Murvaux, France, 29 September 1918.
Entered Service At: Phoenix, Ariz.
Born: 19 May 1897, Phoenix, Ariz.
After having previously destroyed a number of enemy aircraft within 17 days he voluntarily started on a patrol after German observation balloons. Though pursued by 8 German planes which were protecting the enemy balloon line, he unhesitatingly attacked and shot down in flames 3 German balloons, being himself under heavy fire from ground batteries and the hostile planes. Severely wounded, he descended to within 50 meters of the ground, and flying at this low altitude near the town of Murvaux opened fire upon enemy troops, killing 6 and wounding as many more. Forced to make a landing and surrounded on all sides by the enemy, who called upon him to surrender, he drew his automatic pistol and defended himself gallantly until he fell dead from a wound in the chest.
posted on 09/25/2005 11:19:13 PM PDT
("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
HAUPTMANN HANS-JOACHIM MARSEILLE
Looks like Ritterkreutz with Oak Leaves and Swords.
"Star of Africa"
"Unsurpassed Virtuoso of All Fighter Pilots"
In 1942 the German Luftwaffe leaders decided to station the first group of one of its most experienced fighter units, the "Jagdgeschwader 27" (I./JG 27), in North Africa to support their beleaguered Italian allies.
Amongst the pilots of the third "Staffel" of this wing was a twenty year old from Berlin who distinguished himself in two notable ways: his outstanding talent as an aviator, and his particularly strong personalty and disdain of formal military discipline. His name was Hans-Joachim "Jochen" Marseille.
Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Marseille, called the "Star of Africa" shot down seven Curtiss Kittyhawk fighters within eleven minutes in an incredible aerial fight over the northern Sahara desert. "Star of Africa" captures the moment of Marseille's 150th victory on September 15th 1942.
Last Wartime rank: Hauptmann
Units: JG 27, JG 52
Theatres: Africa, Western
"Yellow 14" Bf109F-2 JG27
Marseille, who fought exclusively against (well trained) RAF pilots, thus became the third fighter pilot at that time in the war, whose record exceeded 150 aerial victories (158 total, 154 of which were fighter aircraft).
With his famous "Yellow 14"Bf 109F-2
At the very beginning of his flying in Africa, Marseille got shot down by a Hurricane flown by a Free French pilot. It made for him a very unimpressive start. He settled in quickly, however, getting used to the very different flying conditions, as compared to those in Europe. Marseille practice dummy attacks on his fellow fighter pilots, seeking ways to shoot quickly and accurately. He insisted on perfecting a deflection shot from any given angle, using different speeds. Standard Jagdwaffe procedure was to apply full throttle all the time. Here Marseille's unorthodox character showed up again. Often he would throttle down to get to an attacking position. During combat he also lowed his flaps, in order to decrease radius of a turn. Eventually, he improved in the game of air combat, developing an instinctive taste for it. Marseille always had to be on the top. He was a very ambitious warrior who wanted to shoot down a lot of aircraft. Flamboyant flier, he also had a great need for being accepted and appreciated.
With tactics soon perfected, his score rose dramatically. On February 22, 1942 he reached 50 (43 in forty weeks); 75 on June 5 (25 in fifteen weeks); and 101 on June 18 (26 in thirteen days), clearly becoming very effective "killing machine" in its highest gear. On June 15 he shot down 4 aircraft in three minutes. Two days later he score 6 in only ten minutes. It seemed, that he was always able to put himself in an advantageous position when engaging enemy aircraft. Thanks to his eyesight and hunter instinct he was able to see his opponents first. The esteem and admiration of his colleagues began to rise quickly too.
Many tried to copy his routines but was not able to duplicate them. Friedrich Körner (36 victories) commented: "Yeah, everybody knew nobody could cope with him. Nobody could do the same. Some of the pilots tried it, like Stahlschmidt, myself, and Rödel. He was an artist."
Dunno. Betcha he never ran up against George Beurling.
Germans ran up big scores because they got out over friendly territory, living to fight again, and because they were in it until they died. Der Dicke was such a sweetie. (The pilots called Reichsmarschall Herman Goering "Der Dicke", "Fatty", when alone together. Nazi kill crazy creep, drug addict, thief, vile "sexual" habits. Betrayer of Stalingrad, butcher of pilots. And, folks, I am being real nice.)
posted on 09/25/2005 11:56:00 PM PDT
("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
Finally found image "Star of Africa" depicting Marseille's fight where he downed seven P-40s in eleven minutes. War is a rough business.
posted on 09/26/2005 12:14:24 AM PDT
("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
George Beurling was on Malta shooting down Germans when Marseille was killed in North Africa September 1942. Might be just barely possible.
Nah. Nice thought though.
Turns out Marseille wore the Ritterkreuz with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds. A little bit like four Medals of Honor.
posted on 09/26/2005 12:31:17 AM PDT
("Let me go to the house of the Father." Last words of His Holiness John Paul II)
Good morning, Snippy and everyone at the Freeper Foxhole.
posted on 09/26/2005 3:06:41 AM PDT
To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All
|September 26, 2005
Count On It!
Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:7
A children's book called The Chance World describes an imaginary planet where everything happens unpredictably. For example, the sun might rise one day or it might not, and it might appear at any hour. Some days the moon might come up in its place. One day you might jump up and not come down, and the next day find gravity so strong you can't even lift your feet.
Scottish biologist Henry Drummond commented that in such a place, where natural law was nonexistent, "reason would be impossible. It would become a lunatic world with a population of lunatics."
We should be thankful for the dependability of the natural laws that the Creator has set in motion. They are a great benefit to us if we recognize and respect them. If we violate those laws, however, we will suffer the consequences.
That is also true of God's spiritual laws, such as the one in today's text. The person who ignores God's standards and caters to sinful appetites can expect destruction. But the person who follows the leading of the Holy Spirit will experience the blessings of everlasting life.
God's laws never fail. For better or worse, you will reap what you sow. Count on it! Richard De Haan
Surer than autumn's harvests
Are harvests of thought and deed;
Like those that our hands have planted,
The yield will be like the seed. Harris
When we sow seeds of sin, we can count on a harvest of judgment.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
How Much Does God Control?
When We Just Can't Stop
posted on 09/26/2005 5:16:24 AM PDT
by The Mayor
( Pray as if everything depends on God; work as if everything depends on you.)
To: snippy_about_it; bentfeather; Samwise; Peanut Gallery; Wneighbor
Good morning ladies. Flag-o-Gram.
To: Professional Engineer; snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; Samwise; alfa6; Wneighbor; Peanut Gallery; ...
Good morning everyone.
On this Day In history
Birthdates which occurred on September 26:
1729 Moses Mendelssohn philosopher/critic/Bible translator
1774 John Chapman [Johnny Appleseed], frontier nurseryman, Swedenborgian missionary.
1820 Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar father of Bengali prose (Exile of Sita)
1833 James Deering Fessenden Bvt Major General (Union volunteers)
1839 Frances Willard founded Women's Christian Temperance Union
1840 Alexander Swift "Sandie" Pendleton LCol (Confederate Army, Thomas Jackson's aid de camp)
1841 Georges Clemenceau France, PM (1906-09, 17-20, defended Dreyfuss)
1888 T.S. Eliot St Louis poet/dramatist/critic (Waste Land-Nobel 1948)
1889 Martin Heidegger Germany, Existentialist (Being & Time)
1895 Fay Holden Birmingham England, actress (Mother-Andy Hardy films)
1898 George Gershwin [Jacob Gershvin] Bkln NY, composer (Rhapsody in Blue)
1901 William S Paley founder & chairman (CBS)
1902 Ed Sullivan TV variety show host/gossip columnist (Ed Sullivan Show)
1902 Albert Anastasia head of Murder Inc
1909 Al Capp New Haven Ct, cartoonist (Li'l Abner)
1914 Jack LaLanne exercise mogul
1925 Marty Robbins Glendale Az, singer (Devil Woman, I Walk Alone)
1926 Julie London Santa Rosa Calif, actress (Nurse McCall-Emergency)
1927 Patrick O'Neal Ocala Fla, actor (Kaz, Alvarez Kelly, King Rat)
1932 Clifton C Williams Jr Mobile Alabama, Major USMC/astronaut
1932 Joyce Jameson Chicago Ill, comedienne (Spike Jones Show)
1933 Donna Douglas [Dot Smith], Pride La, actress (Beverly Hillbillies)
1942 Kent McCord LA Calif, actor (Officer Jim Reed-Adam 12)
1945 Brian Ferry England, rocker (Roxy Music-Let's Stick Together)
1948 Vladimir Remek 1st Czechoslovakian space traveler (in Soyuz 28)
1962 Melissa Sue Anderson Cal, actress (Little House on the Prairie)
1962 Tracey Thorn rocker (Everything But the Girls)
1963 Lysette Anthony London, actress (Angelique-Dark Shadows, Switch)
Deaths which occurred on September 26:
0929 Wenceslaus I duke of Bohemia, murdered
1342 John I, ruler of Poland, dies
1820 Daniel Boone frontiersman, dies in Missouri at 85
1833 Lemuel Haynes Revolutionary War veteran, dies at 88
1917 Edgar H G Degas, French painter (ballerina), dies
1937 Bessie Smith singer, dies of injuries sustained in car crash
1952 George Santayana, US philosopher/poet (Last Puritan), dies at 88
1959 PM Solomon Bandaranaike of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) assassinated
1964 Calvin Thomas actor (Judge Hunter-One Man's Family), dies at 79
1990 Alberto Moravia Italian writer (Woman in Red), dies at 82
1991 Miles Davis jazz trumpeter, dies of pneumonia at 65
2000 Actor Richard Mulligan ("Little Big Man", "Soap", "Empty Nest" died at age 67.
2002 Zerah Warhaftig (96), a signer of Israel's declaration of independence and a rescuer of Jewish refugees during World War II, died
Take A Moment To Remember
26-Sep-2004 1 | US: 1 | UK: 0 | Other: 0
US Captain Eric L. Allton Ramadi - Anbar Hostile - hostile fire - mortar attack
A GOOD DAY http://icasualties.org/oif/
Data research by Pat Kneisler
Designed and maintained by Michael White
Go here and I'll stop nagging. http://soldiersangels.org/heroes/index.php
On this day...
1066 William the Conqueror troops sail to England
1396 Sultan Bajezid I beheads several hundred crusaders
1580 Francis Drake returned to Plymouth, England, in the Golden Hind, becoming the first British navigator to have circumnavigated the planet, returns to England with Spanish treasure
1655 Peter Stuyvesant recaptures Dutch Ft Casimir from Swedish in Delaware
1687 Parthenon destroyed in war between Turks & Venetians
1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie becomes king of Scotland
1777 British troops occupy Philadelphia during the American Revolution
1781 Siege of Yorktown begins, last battle of Revolutionary War
1789 Jefferson appointed 1st Sec of State; John Jay 1st chief justice; Samuel Osgood 1st Postmaster & Edmund J Randolph 1st Attorney Genl
1824 Kapiolani defies Pele (Hawaiian volcano goddess) & lives
1826 The Persian cavalry is routed by the Russians at the Battle of Ganja in the Russian Caucasus.
1829 Scotland Yard, the official British criminal investigation organization, is formed.
1850 Flogging in US Navy & on merchant vessels abolished
1864 General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men assault a Federal garrison near Pulaski, Tennessee
1868 Opelousas Massacre at St Landry Parish Louisiana (200 blacks killed)
1890 US stops minting $1 & $3 gold coin & 3cent piece
1892 1st public appearance of John Philip Sousa's band (NJ)
1901 Guerrilla's assault unarmed US soldiers in Balangiga Phil, 38 killed
1906 US troops reoccupy Cuba, stay until 1909
1912 "Kiche Maru" sinks off Japan, killing 1,000
1907 New Zealand becomes a dominion
1908 Ed Ruelbach shuts-out Dodgers in a doubleheader
1914 Federal Trade Commission formed to regulate interstate commerce
1918 Meuse-Argonne offensive against Germany begins (The final battle of WWI)
1918 German Ace Ernst Udet shoots down two Allied planes, bringing his total for the war up to 62
1920 8 White Sox indicted, threw 1919 World Series (Black Sox scandal)
1925 Italian sub "Sebastiano Veniero" lost off Sicily with 54 dead
1926 Shortest double header, Yanks lose 6-1 in 72 minutes & lose again 6-2 in 55 minutes to the Browns. Yanks had already clinched pennant
1930 Lou Gehrig's errorless streak ends at 885 consecutive games
1934 British liner Queen Mary is launched
1939 Soviet-German treaty agree on 4th partition of Poland & gives Lithuania to USSR, last Polish troops surrender
1941 U.S. Army establishes the Military Police Corps. (Oink Oink)
1941 33,761 Jews of Kiev were killed over 3 days before Yom Kippur in the ravine at Babi Yar by the Nazis.
1948 Boston Braves win 1st NL championship since 1914
1950 Because of forest fire in Br Columbia, blue moon appears in England
1950 UN troops in Korean War recapture Seoul
1952 Yanks clinch pennant #19
1954 Typhoon strikes Kakodate Bay Japan, killing over 1,600 (And where was George Bush?)
1954 Ronald Reagan made his 1st appearance as host of the "General Electric Theater," and continued on for 8 years.
1955 NY Stock Exchange worst price decline since 1929
1957 Musical "West Side Story," opens on Broadway
1960 1st of 4 TV debates Nixon & Kennedy took place (Chicago)
1960 Longest speech in UN history (4 hrs, 29 mins, by Fidel Castro)
1961 Nineteen-year-old Bob Dylan makes his New York singing debut at Gerde's Folk City.
1961 Roger Maris hits HR #60 off Jack Fisher, tying Babe Ruth's record
1962 1st to steal 100 bases in a season (Maury Wills goes on to 104)
1962 "The Beverly Hillbillies" premiers on CBS
1962 Yemen Arab Republic proclaimed (National Day)
1968 Hawaii Five-O debuts as an hourly program on CBS
1968 St Louis Cards' Bob Gibson's 13th shutout, ends with 1.12 ERA
1969 Beatles release "Abbey Road" album
1972 American Museum of Immigration dedicated
1973 Concorde flies from Washington DC to Paris in 3h33m
1975 Phillies & NY Mets play a doubleheader that ends at 3:15 AM
1976 Phillies clinch their 1st NL East Division title
1976 Muhammad Ali retains heavyweight boxing championship in a close 15-round decision over Ken Norton at Yankee Stadium
1977 Sir Freddie Laker begins cut-rate "Skytrain" service, London to NY
1978 Israeli Knesset endorses Camp David accord
1978 RR clerks go on strike, halting more than 2/3s of rail service
1979 1984 summer LA Olympic coverage sold to ABC for $225 million
1980 Cuban govt closes Mariel Harbor ending "freedom flotilla"
1980 Soyuz 38 returns to Earth
1981 Houston Astro Nolan Ryan 5th no-hitter beats LA Dodgers, 5-0
1983 Ali Haji-Sheikh kicks NY Giant record 56 yard field goal
1983 Australia II wins America's Cup yacht race (1st non-US winner)
1983 Cosmonauts Titov & Strekalov are saved from exploding Soyuz T-10
1984 Britain & China initial agreement return Hong Kong to China in 1997
1984 Pres Reagan vetoes sanctions against South Africa
1986 Antonin Scalia becomes a Supreme Court Justice
1986 William Rehnquist becomes Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
1986 Bobby (Patrick Duffy) returns to Dallas, his death is attributed to his wife Pam's bad dream (erases all of last season)
1988 Canada`s Ben Johnson stripped of his 100-m gold failing drug test
1988 NYC's Rockefeller Center declared a national landmark
1988 Polish communist party picks propaganda chief Rakowski as new PM
1988 US space shuttle STS-26 launched
1990 Motion Picture Assn of America creates new NC-17 rating
1991 2 year experimental Biosphere 2 in Oracle Arizona begins
1993 Eight people emerged from the glass dome of Biosphere Two in the Arizona desert after being sealed inside for two years in an experiment dogged by setbacks and controversy.
1996 Richard Allen Davis, the killer of 12-year-old Polly Klaas, was formally sentenced to death in San Jose, Calif.
1997 Algerian terrorists attack the village of El Hadj and killed 15 people
1999 45,000 Serbias march against Pres. Milosevic in Belgrade
2001 Algerian Islamic terrorists kill 22 people in Larbaa. 12 of the dead were killed while celebrating a wedding.
2001 Spain detains 6 Algerians with alleged links to Osama bin Laden and a group planning attacks on US targets in Europe. (Spain refuses to hand them over to US because US has the death penalty)
2002 The new edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary published and contained such new words as: Jedi, Klingons, Grinches, gearheads, bunny-huggers and bunny-boilers.
2004 Hurricane Jeanne blasts ashore in Florida with drenching rains and 120 mph wind. At least 1.5 million people were without power. Several people were killed. (And where was George Bush?)
2004 Ezzedin Sheikh Khalil, a senior Hamas operative, was killed in a car bombing outside his house in Damascus.
Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"
New Zealand : Dominion Day
Sri Lanka : Bandaranaike Day (1959)
Yemen Arab Rep, Yemen Peo Dem Rep : Revolution Day (1962)
US : Gold Star Mother's Day
US : Good Neighbor Day
National Answering Machine Day
Khmer Republic : Ceremony of the Dead
Mesopotamia : Day of Willows
National Pancake Day
Sea Cadet Month
Self Improvement Month
RC : Memorial of SS Cosmas & Damian, martyrs, patrons of MDs (opt)
Ang : Commemoration of Lancelot Andrewes, bishop of Winchester
Ethiopia : Feast of the Finding of the True Cross.
1774 Birth of pioneer environmentalist Jonathan Chapman (Johnny Appleseed). Distributing apple seeds and religious tracts from the Alleghenies to the Ohio Valley, Chapman's theology was strongly reminiscent of Swedenborgianism, which taught an empathy with the natural world.
1814 With over 1,000 delegates from 17 churches, the Flint River Association was established -- the first official Baptist organization of its kind in the history of Alabama.
1835 The Suwanee Association was formed, in Florida. Comprised of eight member churches, it was the first official Baptist organization in Florida history.
1897 Birth of Giovanni Battista Montini. He was ordained in 1920, named a cardinal in 1958, and in June 1963 chosen successor to John XXIII as Pope Paul VI. His 15 years as pontiff saw a widening application of the decisions first made at the Vatican II Ecumenical Council (1962-65).
1990 In Russia, the Supreme Soviet ended decades of religious repression with a new declaration, forbidding government interference in religious activities and giving citizens the right to study religion in homes and private schools.
Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.
Man faked kidnap to skip wedding
A Guatemalan man faked his own kidnapping to get out of his wedding.
The 25-year-old disappeared on the day of his wedding and appeared again hours later claiming he'd been kidnapped.
He gave the police a full statement but officers thought his story was suspicious.
A police spokesman said: "We soon found out that it was a lie. He did it all to escape the wedding, poor bride."
The man now faces charges of wasting police time, Estado de Sao Paulo reports.
Thought for the day :
"Let's not be narrow, nasty, and negative."
T. S. Eliot
posted on 09/26/2005 6:12:43 AM PDT
(The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.)
Interesting, wonder why the Austere crashed?
posted on 09/26/2005 8:14:00 AM PDT
(There is a Possum in the works.)
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